Industry News

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill – 2023

Episode Summary

Mike Smith, president of The Brokerage, Inc., joined a recent Broker Link podcast to discuss key takeaways from the 2023 NABIP Capital Conference. This annual event brings together insurance professionals to advocate on legislative issues impacting employers and consumers.

A major focus involved preserving tax exclusions for employer-provided health insurance. This incentive expands access by encouraging employers to offer coverage. Industry experts emphasized the value of this option to lawmakers and urged continued protection in future reforms.

The group also advocated for site-neutral payment reform to curb unnecessary healthcare spending. Currently, different facilities are paid vastly different amounts for identical services based on location. For example, hospital outpatient departments receive much higher payments than physician offices for the same procedures. Implementing consistent rates would expand access and promote fair reimbursement.

Medicaid redeterminations were another key issue, with over 15 million individuals slated to have eligibility re-evaluated soon. Many could lose coverage despite remaining eligible. Advocacy initiatives aim to smooth this transition through solutions like continuous enrollment and expedited application processes. A new special enrollment period for the ACA "family glitch" also increases options for those losing Medicaid.

Additionally, the group sought fixes for inappropriate Medicare regulations classifying agents as third-party marketing organizations. This limits consumer choice and agent involvement in plan selection. Legislative changes are needed to remove agents from this definition.

Other priorities included allowing mid-year changes to Medicare drug plans, counting COBRA as creditable coverage, and avoiding provider shortages through value-based models versus cuts.

Overall, the conference highlighted the immense value of ongoing engagement between policy experts and lawmakers. Industry professionals offer crucial on-the-ground perspectives on how regulations impact real-world healthcare access, quality, and cost-effectiveness. Their insights help inform effective reforms that avoid unintended consequences.

Mike emphasized that collaborative advocacy will remain critical for navigating the complex healthcare landscape. He encouraged continued involvement through future NABIP events and outreach campaigns.


(0:00:05) - Healthcare consumes 20% of our Gross domestic product right now
(0:01:02) - Mike Smith: NABIP just held its annual conference
(0:02:04) - Mike Hickey: It's exciting for me to go to cap conferences
(0:02:39) - Nabip Wine received the Spirit of Independence award for advocating for the industry
(0:06:55) - Mike Gain: The employer tax exclusion is one of our strongest talking points
(0:11:29) - Another one of our main talking points is what's known as a site-neutral rule
(0:15:53) - A way to update and innovate health savings accounts is urgently needed
(0:20:59) - BrokerBucks is a program that reimburses you for marketing
(0:23:33) - There's a severe lack of mental health providers in the United States
(0:26:33) - NABIP podcast urges listeners to get involved in healthcare issues
(0:30:00) - The redetermination of Medicaid eligibility begins on April 1, 2023
(0:33:23) - The third bucket is Medicare. And the common complaint that I would hear out of
(0:39:35) - The simple fix is to make Cobra creditable coverage. It's comprehensive, major medical coverage
(0:44:03) - The MAOEP allows us to switch certain plans during open enrollment
(0:47:18) - Mike: We have two other podcasts coming out of this podcast
(0:48:41) - How do you get started with the Brokerage Inc?

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